How to Pick a Pimple

How to Pick a Pimple

It seems to happen to the best of us.  We wake up to find a gigantic pimple that seems to have sprung up overnight.  And it usually seems to happen the morning of an important event or meeting.  I don’t think the pimples are actually out to get you – though it may seem like it.  They are a function of how skin cycles.  Lance H. Brown, MD, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine says, “Healthy skin sloughs off every three months.  When this doesn’t happen properly, your pores become clogged and the oil feeds off the bacteria, creating white heads, blackheads, and pimples.”

Follow these dos and don’ts if you want to get rid of pimples.

Don’t wash too much. Washing your face in the morning and the evening is sufficient to remove acne-causing bacteria. Any more and you risk stripping your skin of its natural, and helpful, oils — which will only cause more redness and irritation.

Don’t pick a pimple at home. Squeezing can lead to an infection if it’s not done correctly. You should never pick a cystic pimple (the hard kind under your skin). For a pustule or white head, see a dermatologist or an aesthetician, who can remove it carefully with sterile tools. 

For a cystic pimple, you can use a lancet (like the kind diabetics used to prick their fingers) to make a small hole in the pimple, then apply a product like Skinceauticals Age and Blemish Defense and leave it on overnight to help clear up the blemish. 

If you can’t resist the urge, very, very gently, squeeze it yourself. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water to remove bacteria and germs first, then use a tissue and squeeze the white head until it bursts, and then stop immediately. Extra squeezing can damage skin, spread infection, and leave a mark. Apply a product like Skinceauticals Age and Blemish defense to help clear up the blemish. 

Don’t overtreat. While sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol products are proven acne fighters, when overused, they can cause your skin to dry out. This will cause more irritation and make your breakouts worse.

Do use moisturizer. Many people don’t want to moisturize because they feel that greasy skin causes acne – but remember last months’ article about Argon Oil?  This is a great moisturizer that is great to use because it doesn’t aggravate acne.

Do wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is absolutely not a cause of acne and sun exposure can cause acne scars to get darker, making them harder to get rid of. On top of that, some acne medications make skin more photosensitive — meaning you’ll burn more easily. Look for a non-oily, non-comedogenic light lotion variety.

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